Sunday, 7 February 2021


First Blood

by Betsy Mars

We tuned to Wolfman Jack
on the transistor radio
and fried our bodies in baby oil.

At the public pool we sprayed Sun-in
on our hair, trying to become the golden girls
of the boys' desires

while they cannon-balled and shuffled,
flexed their puny muscles, wondered
who-knows-what. They were beyond

our reach. What went on
in their steaming brains
was a mystery masked in bravado.

We suffered when they didn't look
our way; even more when they did.
They left hickeys on our psyches.

If they were damaged, too,
we never knew it. They strutted
seemingly unconscious

of their power. At fourteen
they were bronzed gods,
Neptunes of this hormonal world,

their tridents pierced brain,
heart, and a thin membrane
of romance beyond repair. 

* * * * *

Betsy Mars lives in the southern California suburbs where she practices poetry, photography, and runs Kingly Street Press. Her second release, Floored, features 27 poets from around the world and is available through her, the authors, and also on Amazon. She was a winner in Alexandria Quarterly´s first line poetry contest series in 2020 as well as a finalist in both the Jack Grapes and Poetry Super Highway poetry contests. She is the author of Alinea (Picture Show Press) and co-author of In the Muddle of the Night (Arroyo Seco Press) with Alan Walowitz, out in 2021.